USA played their 2nd game of the World Junior tournament Sunday night. After a tight shootout win against Finland on Friday, Team USA would get a more relaxed game against team Germany. Germany was just coming off a 4-0 shutout loss to team Canada Saturday night.
Team USA looked to take advantage of their one day rest ahead of Germany, and it showed early in the game. The Americans strangled the Germans in their own zone. All lines showed strength in being able to keep Germany backed up in their own zone.
After a couple minutes in, 2016 NHL draft prospect Auston Matthews broke the scoring after a wrap-around goal. Matthews had a very strong period, and added more to his case for the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.
Jack Eichel had a very pretty opening period. Made a lot of flashy moves, but they were effective as well. He made some nice passes that were, unfortunately, not capitalized on. Although Eichel showed his smoothness, USA showed their rough edges, including on the 2nd goal of the game.
Some clutter in front of the net allowed Hudson Fasching to pot his own rebound in. German goalie Ilja Sharipov let in 2 goals, but looked good still while saving 20 shots. USA goaltender, Brandon Halverson didn’t see much action, but was perfect going 5 for 5.
USA continued their outstanding pressure into the 2nd period. Germany was manhandled all over the ice. They only had 2 shots on Halverson in the period and couldn’t contain USA in their own zone. Sony Milano had a great 2 on 1 chance down low, but was robbed by Sharipov. Milano came right back though, and scored on another 2 on 1 opportunity. If it was not for Sharipov, USA would be winning 12-0. He has been very good in the crease, despite the 4 goals against. Germany couldn’t even get a bounce to go their way on the 4th goal, as Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings prospect, scored off of Germany forward Fabio Pfohl. 4-0 USA after 2.
Things slowed down in the 3rd and final period. USA scored two more goals late from Eichel and Larkin. Eichel’s goal was just a showcase of what you’ll get if you draft him. Unpredictable on the play as he goes on the wrap around. Germany’s Ilja Sharipov was named Player of the Game for his team, which is undeniable. Sharipov had 47 saves and frustrated USA multiple times. Dylan Larkin recieves PotG for his two goal performance.
Team USA will play their next game Monday against Slovakia. The Slovaks had an upset in their favor over the Finnish, a team USA won against in the shootout. Germany plays Slovakia Tuesday in their next match-up.